One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

June 12, 2013


It’s kinda the sweetest how my fourteen year old still feels small enough to slide his head right under my chin when he comes in for a hug. Uncomfortable because he’s really too big and he ends up clocking me in the small of my neck and choking me with his massive head when he then straightens up, but so sweet that he still has the same physical patterns in hugging me that he has for so many, many years even though he’s almost my height now.

It’s also kinda the sweetest that he still gives me so many hugs.

And today, the littlest asked me, “why does Gordy want to hunt so much?” And I said, “I guess he’s still wild at heart.”

“Oh,” she said with the gravity of one having a troubling realization. “Then we should probably set him free, mom. If he feels wild, then we’re not the best place for him, he should be free to hunt for himself and maybe if we set him free, he’ll be so grateful that he’ll come back and visit us.”

Oh my. This is a kid who’s been watching too much Born Free and that amazing video of Christian the Lion. Well, and also I told her yesterday that we are not going to become a caterpillar sanctuary because we already housed so many caterpillars when Ethan was little and caterpillars just don’t thrive in captivity. It’s so lovely that she’s just taking all this in and extrapolating from that into her own personal life and choices about not keeping things. But yeah, how does her mom then explain that we’re not setting the house cat free?

I’ve been so very busy with work this spring. For a couple of weeks there I was bemoaning that I had three simultaneous projects all of which had to go live ASAP. And then, when it began to seem like the end was in sight, then another client surfaced with a project that I had provided secondary support on, saying that her primary programmer was sick and she just needed to get this out the door and couldn’t I please just help out. So I offered her my weekend, and that turned into finishing up the project. So I have four projects on the go right now.

I had been telling Ian that when these current projects are done, I’m going to take a break and do some writing. But I told him that last fall, as well. There always seems to be just enough work to keep me too busy to write. My challenge is really learning to say no. I need to quit thinking of writing as “going to the ball” – the thing I get to do when my other chores are done.  And I need to just start saying, “nope, can’t do that chore, I have a ball to go to.”

If you, perchance, grew up thinking that what you wanted most out of your life was to write novels, you probably got told that it was hard work to write on your own with no boss to drive you and that you would have to learn a good work ethic. I am beginning to suspect that my good work ethic is precisely what keeps me from writing. I pondered to Ian, “I’ve been waiting to be established enough in my life to be allowed to write for so long, waiting until I had my career settled, my finances settled, my kids settled, my house clean enough – and I assumed that when I reached the point where I had the space to get writing that it would be like spotting a loved one across a field and nothing could stop me from slow-motion running back to that love. But I’ve avoided it for so long and chastised myself for it for so long, that actually, it’s the opposite. I keep looking around for what I must be neglecting, and there’s always something. I assume that if I’m enjoying what I’m working on, I must be doing something dreadfully, dreadfully wrong.”

I think if my children told me they wanted to write, I wouldn’t say a thing to them about work ethics.

I would say, “Then the only thing you need to know is that you deserve to. You deserve to write as much as you want, as long as you want. You deserve to write when it’s easy and feels like playing or when it’s hard but you can’t step away from it because you feel like you’re on the cusp of something. But no matter what thing someone might tell you is far more important, you deserve to choose writing above that thing. If it makes you miss social gatherings, neglect the dishes, and fail to get that day-job promotion because you wouldn’t work late as much as everyone else because you’d been noodling a conversation with a character over in your head and you had to get home to get it down on paper, then you’re probably doing it right.”

Anyhow, in spite of nearly a year having passed since I said, “I’m going to take on fewer projects and start writing instead,” that time might really be coming. I’m aiming to have all my current projects done by the kids’ last day of school. And then I will spend the summer finding my legs, I think. Obviously the kids will take up a lot of my summer time – but I have a number of research books I need to get into, and I think I can do that and start working on my outlines while spending the summer at home with three kids.

« Previous post
Next post »

Leave a Reply